The Best and Worst American SUVs of 2021
Although American automakers have come a long way compared to exotic automakers, they still have a long way to go. The usual problems with American cars are a high recall rate and build quality. In SUV production, big names like Chevrolet, Ford, and Buick have built some amazing vehicles.
Since the release of the 1984 Jeep Cherokee, a compact vehicle considered the first modern SUV, there has been an influx of SUVs into the industry. These vehicles are a popular choice in the United States and are also the top-selling car category. The year 2021 has seen a slew of SUV releases from different American automotive brands. Some of these SUVs are impressive, and some not so much. As the year draws to a close, we’ll spotlight the five best and worst American SUVs of 2021.
9 Best: 2021 Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco is a boxy SUV with detachable 2- and 4-door variants. For its 2021 model, Ford used a standard 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine and an optional 2.7-liter engine. The 2.3-liter engine is capable of 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. There are plenty of safety and off-road driving features in the 2021 Bronco, like perimeter alarm, hill-start assist, 911 assist, and more.
The 2-door variant uses a standard 7-speed manual transmission system, while the 4-door variant comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission system. Interestingly, the Ford Bronco is available at around $28,500.
8 Best: 2021 Chevrolet Suburban
The Chevrolet Suburban is a large three-row family SUV. The Suburban is super roomy, with the second row having 42 inches of legroom and the third row having 36.7 inches of legroom.
There are three engine options for the 2021 Chevy Suburban. Depending on the trim level, you can get a 6.3-liter EcoTec3 V8, a 5.3-liter V8, or a 3.0-liter turbodiesel powertrain. The Suburban’s infotainment system is a fairly easy-to-use 10.2-inch touchscreen.
seven Best: 2021 GMC Yukon
GMC has redesigned its Yukon for the 2021 model year, and the results look good. The Yukon is a big SUV, and just like the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, it seats nine. The Yukon costs around $51,000 to $68,600 in all trim levels.
The interior is well finished and better than the Chevrolet Tahoe. GMC offers a 6.2-liter V8 for the Denali trim, a 5.3-liter EcoTec V8 and a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine for the powertrain. Of course, the Yukon comes with WiFi, Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility.
6 Best: 2021 Cadillac Escalade
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a 7-passenger luxury SUV with stellar features. The curved OLED driver display is one of the most prominent features of the 2021 Escalade. Drivers can even get their navigation view on the OLED display. The Escalade’s interior is exquisite with touches of natural wood and leather.
There’s a fridge in the center console, and it ranges from 41 to 23°F in freezer mode. The standard powertrain is a 6.2-liter V8 that delivers 420 hp, but a 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine is also available.
5 Best: 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
Another family SUV, the 2021 Tahoe, is a 9-seater with a maximum cargo capacity of 122.9 cu. The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban surpasses the Tahoe with a maximum cargo capacity of 144.7 cu. Tahoe’s interior is comfortable and its doors open wide for easy access.
The GMC Tahoe and 2921 Yukon share a towing capacity of 8,400 lbs. For performance, we’d say the Chevy Tahoe drives smoothly. As with the Suburban, the Tahoe’s standard powertrain is a 6.2-liter V8 capable of 420 hp.
4 Worst: 2021 Jeep Renegade
Looking at the 2021 Jeep Renegade, it looks like the typical Jeep SUV, and that’s a good thing. However, the Renegade is a subcompact SUV, and we don’t feel it. Although the 2021 Renegade comes with Jeep’s impressive customer service – the Jeep wave, there are so many unkind things about the SUV. First, the second row is too small to comfortably accommodate adults.
Additionally, the Renegade’s 1.3-liter engine takes 9.3 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph and also offers lower fuel economy than other SUVs in its class. As if that weren’t enough, AppleCarplay isn’t available and many driver assistance features aren’t standard.
3 Worst: 2021 Chevrolet Trax
While the Chevrolet Trax is nicely styled on the outside and maneuvers easily, there aren’t many niceties we can say about the compact SUV. Aside from minor changes in trim levels, the 2020 and 2021 Trax models appear to be the same.
The standard 1.4-liter EcoTec is weak for beginners, delivering 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque while taking 10.1 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph. Not much performance at all. There’s even speculation of Chevrolet ending the model in 2023.
2 Worst: 2021 GMC Acadia
The GMC Acadia is a three-row SUV with attractive features like Active Torque Control All-Wheel Drive, Front Pedestrian Braking, Adaptive Ride Control, Programmable Hands-Free Power Liftgate, and more. What then is the problem with this SUV? Well, the Acadia has low safety ratings, and despite being advertised as a family car, the Acadia isn’t that spacious.
GMC’s Acadia has a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an output of 193 hp and isn’t as premium as rivals like the Mazda CX-9. Another problem with the Acadia is its low resale value.
1 Worst: 2021 Ford Ecosport
The Ecosport is Ford’s smallest SUV, and the 5-seater is packed with amazing tech features. Some of these features include blind spot information system, cross traffic alert, Ford 360 co-pilot, and more.
However, the Ecosport lacks important features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure assist that are standard in many new cars. Additionally, the Ecosport also has shoddy interior construction and long-term reliability issues. Ford’s Ecosport also comes with a 2.0-liter Ti-VCT engine that doesn’t run well.
American trucks and SUVs hold a special place in our hearts, and they are by far our favorites.
About the Author